(La Junta, CO) -- When the lights come back on it's a momentous occasion in a home darkened by a loss of electricity.
Friday night's tornadic activity in Southeastern Colorado took out power from seven sub-stations according to SECPA CEO Kevin Brandon.
The sub-stations between Baca County and Prowers County are fed off of a looped transmission system. Half of that loop is fed by Tri-State, taken out by the tornado that fed the area between Willow Creek and Vilas.
"This tornado took out Tri-State's 115 that feeds that side of the loop and then continued on and took out our side of the loop so all at once, that affected seven substations. They were able to isolate Holly and Granada fairly soon and open the switch and go ahead and reenergize the section from Willow Creek to get those folks back up."
Brandon says in order to get everyone else back up, they had to rebuild and replace the H structure. It did take some time for everyone to have their electricity restored.
It was a peculiar storm in that some areas that were affected actually had beautiful, sunny weather at the time of the outage.
"A storm 50 miles from you can definitely affect you depending on how it's fed by the transmission," Brandon added.
Brandon explained that line workers were out all night making the repairs and through the next day.
If a system was underground, it might be protected from some of the outages experienced with this storm but it would be cost-prohibitive.
When asked what's the best thing to do when experiencing a loss of power to your home or business, Brandon gave the sage advice of keeping your refrigerator and freezers closed and calling the SECPA dispatch number to report your outage.
In a social media post, Brandon thanked everyone for their patience and understanding during the outage.
"Thank you for your continued patience as we continue making repairs on the smaller areas of damage that occurred. This was a very strong storm and it left some incredible destruction in its path.
Thanks again to our linemen who work day and night through sometimes terrible conditions to keep the lights on for our consumers. They are a great bunch of guys and I'm very proud of the way they work together and what they were able to accomplish after this storm!"